Cornwall Standard Freeholder
Hundreds of rural residents sign anti-herbicide petition
by MICHAEL PEELING, STANDARD-FREEHOLDER
More than 400 rural residents are headed for a confrontation with
United Counties council over the spraying of herbicides on county
For the second year in a row, Chloe Fox will stand up in front of the
United Counties council at its meeting Monday morning to decry what
she calls "the uselessness of the practice" of spraying a herbicide
called Turboprop to kill off the wild yellow parsnip along county
"Poison ivy is also hazardous to our health, but the counties don't
spray for it," Fox argued.
Fox would rather the emphasis be put on educating the public about the
hazards of an encounter with the wild yellow parsnip, which can lead
to a rash if there is contact with its sap.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs classifies
the parsnip along with poison ivy and giant hogweed as "Plants You
Don't Want To Touch!" on its website.
Besides the need for education, Fox says the recent provincial ban on
a list of herbicides for cosmetic use qualifies as mounting evidence
the United Counties should cut out using anything with 2,4-D, one of
Turboprop's active ingredients.
S, D&G head engineer, D. J. McDonald, said last week he believes the
spraying done last year was not for cosmetic purposes, and is
performed under safe guidelines to ensure the chemical does not get
into the water supply or affect residents.
Fox and other residents such as Bridget Grice -who found her
experience with Turboprop floating through the air "absolutely
asphyxiating" -would rather see the parsnip kept under control by
strategically cutting them down before they come to seed, which is how
the plant spreads.
The wild yellow parsnip can be found all over Ontario along fencerows,
roadsides, abandoned fields and meadows.
March 11, 2009
No retail victims in pesticide ban
Re: Sudbury Business: 'I have tons of it'; Retailer reeling from
pesticide ban --March 7.
A retired intelligence analyst, I am currently honourary Canadian
observer on the Pesticide Working Group in Washington, D. C.
A correction: the province passed Bill 64 in the summer of 2008, not
last Wednesday, when the government merely announced the specific
implementation date -- April 22.
Retailers stuck with large supplies of pesticides have no one but
themselves to blame, as the provincial government made it abundantly
clear in mid-2008 that the ban is going to be implemented in the
spring of 2009.
There was no indication whatsoever from the beginning that the ban
will be phased in over one to three years. And if the retailers were
confused, they should have contacted the appropriate personnel in the
Ministry of the Environment. By the way, the active ingredient in
Killex is 2,4-D, routinely contaminated by a dioxin highly toxic in
There is nothing political about being subjected to toxic chemicals
invented for military purposes, especially if you happen to live in a
condo with large grounds and the sprayed chemicals persist in both
turf and air, invading your body and the bodies of little children for
almost three weeks.
Lawn application retailers do have a partisan interest in maintaining
that pesticides are safe -- they are the ones whose motivation is
economic and political, rather than science based. It would be far
more constructive for them to embrace non-toxic methods of lawn
maintenance, which are perhaps more labour intensive but in the long
run benefit everyone.
K. Jean Cottam
March 11, 2009
NB Telegraph Journal
Most NBers want pesticide ban
We are writing in response to the Feb. 26 letter from Crop Life on the
issue of banning pesticides. We believe Mr. Hepworth of Crop Life
(which represents the manufacturers of pesticides and other
agricultural chemicals) has some of his facts wrong.
First of all, the New Brunswick government is not relying solely on
online submissions, but on written submissions and presentations that
individuals made to government during their consultations on the
issue. The online poll may not be accurate anyway as people could
respond more than once if they used different computers. A more
accurate picture of the view of New Brunswickers regarding pesticides
was revealed by the results of a recent Ipsos Reid poll. It is now
clear that three quarters of New Brunswickers want a ban on the
cosmetic use of pesticides.
The government did an honest exploration of the issue via the
consultation process. Both sides had the opportunity to make their
case. Legislation will be tabled based on what New Brunswickers want.
And what the majority of New Brunswickers want is an environment free
Everything is available online for the March 6th Ontario Today show
except one segment dealing with the Ontario pesticide ban
CBC Radio - Ontario Today
March 6, 2009
If you take pride in your perfect lawn, you may have to learn to live
with unsightly weeds. The Ontario Government is extending its ban on
pesticides. We'll hear from the province's Environment Minister, and
from landscapers who oppose the ban.
No Audio Available
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
City Residents Fear Effect of PPL Plan to Spray Herbicide
By David Singleton, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.
Mar. 10--The wooded hillside behind Matthew Avenue, an out-of-the-way
cul-de-sac in East Scranton, is home to deer, rabbits, wild turkeys
and the occasional black bear. It's a popular spot for neighbors to
walk their dogs, away from the constant rumble of traffic on
Interstate 81, just to the west.
But the hillside's most prominent feature is a 69-kilovolt PPL
Electric Utilities transmission line that cuts through the woods along
a cleared right of way.
A plan by PPL to use a herbicide to control vegetation beneath its
Scranton-Lackawanna line has several residents of Matthew Avenue
worried about the potential hazards -- and hoping the utility
"Although they say it is not detrimental to our health, anything that
kills foliage is not good for us, the animals or the environment,"
said Melissa Aquilina, 58, who has lived at 850 Matthew Ave. for 35
years. "We'd like them to at least come out and re-evaluate what they
are going to do."
A PPL contractor, Treesmiths Utility Arborists Inc. of Moscow,
notified residents of the 800 and 900 blocks of Matthew by mail last
month of its intention to apply an Environmental Protection Agency-
approved herbicide to the right of way in June.
Treesmiths asked property owners to sign and return a copy of the so-
called contact form to acknowledge they received notice of the planned
Neighbor Sal Pane said residents are wary of signing anything, and he
knows of no one who has returned the form.
"We'd like to know more about what it is, actually, why they need to
spray," said Mr. Pane, 50, who has lived at 820 Matthew for 22 years.
Phyllis Nish, 63, a lifelong neighborhood resident who built her home
at 828 Matthew in 1990, a few years before the power line went up,
said none of the residents object to PPL trimming or topping trees
that might interfere with the line; they just don't want spraying.
"I have a problem with killing a tree when you can just top it. Have a
little consideration for the people here," Ms. Nish said.
PPL spokeswoman Lissette Santana said the utility in deciding whether
to cut or apply herbicide, considers several factors, including the
topography of the land and the plant species being targeted. In the
case of Matthew Avenue, the herbicide will be applied by a certified
contractor working on the ground with hand-held equipment, she said.
"It's really on a case-by-case basis," she said.
Contact the writer: dsingleton@ timesshamrock.com
To see more of The Times-Tribune or to subscribe to the newspaper, go
Copyright (c) 2009, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.
First Lady Goes Organic with the White House Menu
(Beyond Pesticides, March 10, 2009) First Lady Michelle Obama told the
White House chef that she wants the kitchen to go organic. According
to National Public Radio, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton asked the
White House chef to begin serving organic food when she lived in the
White House in the 1990’s. Then, First Lady Laura Bush changed the
priority to fresh, local food during her tenure. But Michelle Obama
wants it both ways: fresh, local, organic food for the President,
their daughters and White House dinner parties.
“I really got caught up in what they want to do so that at the last
minute, I had to change my whole perspective,” White House food and
beverage manager Daniel Shanks, told U.S. News and World Report. “They
talked to us about their vision. They are really excited about being
able to show to the world that there’s a better way in a positive,
healthy manner. We need to eat better. We need to take care of the
Ms. Obama explained the importance of organic food in her household
while appearing on the television show, “The View” in 2008. Diets
filled with healthier food produced by free synthetic, pesticides and
fertilizers farms can reduce medical problems like obesity and
diabetes and be easier on the environment. Beyond organic, she also
said she avoids high fructose corn syrup.
“In my household, over the last year we have just shifted to organic
for this very reason, said Ms. Obama. “I mean, I saw just a moment in
my nine-year-old’s life—we have a good pediatrician, who is very
focused on childhood obesity, and there was a period where he said,
‘Mmm, she’s tipping the scale.’ So we started looking through our
cabinets… And you start reading the labels and you realize there’s
high-fructose corn syrup in everything we’re eating. Every jelly,
every juice. Everything that’s in a bottle or a package is like poison
in a way that most people don’t even know…Now we’re keeping, like, a
bowl of fresh fruit in the house.”
Organic agriculture embodies an ecological approach to farming that
does not rely on or permit toxic, synthetic pesticides, chemical
fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics, sewage
sludge, or irradiation. Instead of using these harmful products and
practices, organic agriculture utilizes techniques such as cover
cropping, crop rotation, and composting to produce healthy soil,
prevent pest and disease problems, and grow healthy food and fiber.
Groups around the country are happy to see the new, organic direction
the White House is taking, but hopes that President Obama takes it
further. Beyond Pesticides would like to see all federal lands managed
organically and federal buildings using defined Integrated Pest
Kitchen Gardeners International, a Maine-based nonprofit network of
gardeners who are teaching people to grow some of their own food, have
asked the Obamas to replant a large organic Victory Garden on the
First Lawn with the produce going to the White House kitchen and to
local food pantries. Read about their Eat the View campaign.
Beyond Pesticides supports organic agriculture as effecting good land
stewardship and a reduction in hazardous chemical exposures for
workers on the farm. The pesticide reform movement, citing pesticide
problems associated with chemical agriculture, from groundwater
contamination and runoff to drift, views organic as the solution to a
serious public health and environmental threat.
Learn more about organics on Beyond Pesticides’ Organic Food program
page and at the Bridge to an Organic Future conference, April 3-4 in
Carrboro (Chapel Hill area), NC.
Encourage the Obama Administration to promote organic agriculture,
which slows global climate change and support rural economic
development. Read the recommendations sent to Mr. Obama’s transition
team by grassroots organizations. Contact the Obama administration.
Recognizing Green Government
Green California Leadership Awards Announced
SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nine "green"
projects, programs and initiatives undertaken by California state
agencies, cities and counties will be honored at the upcoming Green
California Summit & Exposition (Sacramento Convention Center, March 16
- 18). The Green California Leadership Awards, established at the
request of the Summit's Advisory Board, recognize state and local
agencies for innovative efforts to green the Golden State.
In the category of Climate Change, the County of Sonoma will be
recognized for its Climate Change Initiatives. These include the
county's Climate Change Plan that addresses energy use in the built
environment, greening the county's fleet and looking at how state
employees commute to work. The county also plans to install a 1.4
megawatt natural gas fuel cell.
An effort by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
to recycle damaged fire hoses and turn them into hammocks, beds,
swings and other accessories for primate cages in local zoos will
receive the Waste Management award. In this program, some 14,900
pounds of fire hose that were used in three enormous California fires
This year, there will be two honorees in the Energy Innovation
category. The County of Lake will be recognized for its innovative
recycling program, which uses solar energy to power facilities that
treat, transport and recycle wastewater and then uses the treated
water to recharge geothermal resources for energy production. The
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) will be honored for its
"SolarShares" initiative, which provides its customers who are renters
to subscribe to a portion of a large photovoltaic system.
The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) will receive a
leadership award in the category of Transportation. CalTrans has
reduced the state's carbon footprint by maximizing the use of
alternative fuels, increasing the numbers of green and flex-fuel
vehicles in its fleet and instituting other conservation practices
California has mandated strict green building standards for new and
existing government buildings. The Los Angeles Community College
District is going a long way to fulfilling these requirements and will
be recognized with the Green Building award for the Allied Health and
Science Center at Los Angeles Valley College. The building
incorporates a host of green products and standards, including a
50,000 kilowatt solar array and a "living machine," which biologically
cleanses roof rainwater runoff.
For its efforts at managing sparse water supplies in Southern
California, the Orange County Water District will receive the Water
Management award for its groundwater replenishment system. An advanced
purification process, the system creates a high quality, new source of
water and uses only half the energy needed to import water.
Santa Clara County's Integrated Pest Management products purchasing
program reduces exposure to toxins and pollution. It will receive the
Leadership Award in the category of Purchasing. The effort includes
the establishment of a regional park to help educate citizens about
the use of alternatives to toxic pesticides and herbicides in
residential and public areas as well as wild lands.
The Green Culture award will be presented to the Department of Motor
Vehicles for aggressive internal efforts to promote sustainable
operations. For example, in 2008, the DMV diverted 69 percent of its
landfill waste to recycling centers.
"Initiatives like these keep California ahead of the curve when it
comes to preserving the environment," said Carl Smith, editor-in-chief
for Green Technology. "The dozens of deserving projects that were
nominated are impressive evidence of the public sector's commitment to
a sustainable future."
For information on the Summit, or to register to attend, go to
SOURCE Green Technology
Attention Business Editors:
Forterra Environmental Announces National Sales Agreement with Turf
PUSLINCH, ON, March 10 /CNW/ - Forterra Environmental Corp. (TSX-
FTE-V), an emerging leader in the production and sale of premium
soil-enrichment products based on worm castings, today announced a
distribution agreement with Turf Logic Inc.
Turf Logic will be purchasing granulated worm castings from
use in its pesticide-free lawn care solutions sold through its
operations in Canada. Turf Logic, headquartered in Barrie, Ontario,
operates 13 franchises focused on marketing in Ontario, British
Alberta. The company has been providing pesticide-free lawn-care
since 2002. It began franchising in 2006 and is aiming to double its
"We are very excited to have been able to reach this agreement
Forterra. Forterra can provide Turf Logic with exactly the kind of
pesticide-free, environmentally friendly products that our customers
that we expect will be important to driving the growth of our
Frank Reddick, Vice-President of Turf Logic (www.turflogic.ca).
"As an increasing number of governments are moving to ban a
number of pesticide-based products, including Ontario beginning in
homeowners and others will be increasingly seeking out solutions such
that we will be able to offer with Forterra. Forterra's granulated
castings are easy to apply with existing lawn care equipment, are a
product containing no rendering by-products or biosolids, having no
and containing plant available nutrients for early spring green-up.
"While the level of our actual purchases from Forterra will depend
sales success, we currently are very optimistic that there will be
increased demand for our products that include worm castings," said
"We expect to work with Forterra to identify and develop other
offerings that would be of value to our customers, including a
(a preparation using live bacteria) for use in breaking down thatch,"
"This agreement establishes what we hope will be a long-term
for Forterra with a company that offers us the opportunity to grow
and to market and sell additional products in the future. Our
Forterra's products as being ideally matched with Turf Logic's focus
offering its customers solutions that meet government regulations for
pesticide-free approaches and at the same time that are proven to be
cost-effective and beneficial for their turf requirements," Mr. Denyes
About Forterra Environmental Corp.
Forterra manufactures and markets environmentally friendly soil
enhancers, using worm castings, which boost fertility while restoring
with organic matter for sustainable, longer-term benefits, including
root growth, and drought and pest resistance. Forterra products
organic material. They are ideal for golf courses, sports fields, lawn
parks, nurseries, orchards, and vineyards. Essentially, Forterra uses
wriggler worms to convert organic material into vermicompost or worm
Worm castings contain micronutrients, which are required for healthy
development. Worm castings also contain microbes, which increase the
which plants take up available macronutrients and micronutrients.
information is available on the company's website at www.forterra.com.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange Inc. nor its Regulation Services
Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX
Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of
For further information: Investor and Media Relations, Richard W.
Wertheim, Wertheim + Company Inc., Email: email@example.com, (416)
594-1600, (416) 518-8479 (cell)
Pesticides and Perceptions
A change in attitude, not state law, is needed to ensure that the
Board of Pesticides Control fulfills its obligations.
Last year, the Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
Committee voted against the governor’s nominee for the board, Deborah
Aldridge of Jonesboro, saying that her views that pesticide use should
sometimes be restricted disqualified her from the board. Ms. Aldridge,
a blueberry grower who switched from conventional to organic growing,
had supported a 500-foot buffer for aerial spraying, putting her at
odds with others in the industry.
By statute, the board’s members must include three people
knowledgeable about pesticides in agriculture, forestry and commercial
applications. One person must have a medical background and another
must hold a faculty position in either agronomy or entomology at the
University of Maine. The remaining two members are selected to
represent the public and must have an interest in environmental
protection. Ms. Aldridge was meant to fulfill the last category.
Seven members of the committee voted against her even though none of
the state’s agricultural groups testified against her nomination and
she was slated to replace another organic blueberry grower who was
leaving the board.
This episode left the impression that the committee believed the board
was responsible for pesticide promotion, not regulation.
Now one of the committee members who voted against Ms. Aldridge’s
nomination has submitted a bill to change the makeup of the board.
Sen. John Nutting, D-Leeds, has proposed to increase the board to
eight members to include a representative of a statewide organization
of organic farmers and gardeners. A public hearing on LD 68 is
scheduled before the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee
Aside from the problem of having an even number of people on the
board, this bill is unnecessary. The public nominees with interest in
environmental protection now required could, if the committee were
more open-minded, be members of organic groups. Or, the requirements
for one of the two public representatives could be revised to include
interest in organic farming without increasing the size of the board.
The bill also would set a bad precedent. If the Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Association has a seat set aside on the board, why not
the Maine Blueberry Commission or the Maine Potato Board? The board is
meant to have a broad perspective, not to advocate for specific
industries and practices.
That should not change.
Warning Industry Propaganda Below
March 10, 2009
Pesticide ban is a pest: Weed Man rep
By Kristen Calis
DURHAM -- Although there will be some wrinkles to iron out, a
Pickering councillor who's been urging a ban on pesticides is happy
with a recent announcement by the Province.
"Overall I'm really pleased to see we have not only a ban in place,
but one of the toughest in North America," said Ward 1 City Councillor
Minister of the Environment John Gerretsen announced last week more
than 80 pesticide ingredients will be banned for cosmetic use and
about 250 products will be banned for sale in Ontario as of April 22.
Chris Lemcke, the technical co-ordinator of Weed Man, said the company
has been working with natural products to control weeds and pests on
clients' lawns for years. But it'll be difficult for smaller companies
to make the switch, he said. Organic methods to control pests are more
expensive than regular pesticides, Mr. Lemcke said. One Weed Man uses,
Sarritor (approved by the Province) must be refrigerated since it's a
living product, essentially costing more. Also, the change will be
demanding on employee hours, he said.
"Literally it's going to be hundreds of hours for us to change our
customer programs," he said, adding Weed Man serves about 20,000
Although Sarritor, for example, yields good results, since it's
organic, lawns will require more care from owners since pesticides are
simply more effective.
"The reality is that people are going to have to learn to live with
more weeds on their lawns," Mr. Lemcke said.
` Coun. O'Connell said since people knew a ban has been in the works
for awhile, she's optimistic businesses have been planning for it.
Norm Mills, a consultant and salesperson at Direct Landscape Supply in
Oshawa, said the ban "was overdue and it was necessary."
Mr. Lemcke said some of the products shouldn't be banned since a
number of them are approved by Health Canada. One pesticide that's
been banned, Merit, is used in flea-repellent collars for dogs.
"You can use it on your dog," he said. "You just can't use it to
control grubs on your lawn."
One product he won't allow his employees to use since it burned him
badly in the past, horticultural vinegar, was approved by the
Province. It seems items are simply being approved if they're natural,
"Some of the most toxic things in nature are natural," he said.
But the Province feels it's helping curb possible health problems, and
claims it consulted organizations such as the Canadian Cancer Society.
"I'm proud to say that, when the ban takes effect on Earth Day, we
will have eliminated this unnecessary risk to our environment, our
families, and especially our children," Mr. Gerretsen said.
March 11 ,2009
Pembroke Daily Observer
By STEPHEN UHLER
Renfrew County municipalities will be exempt from portions of
Ontario's upcoming ban on cosmetic pesticides.
As of April 22, 2009, the new Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act will come
into effect, overriding all municipal bylaws dealing with the
Under it, pesticides cannot be used for cosmetic purposes on lawns,
vegetable or ornamental gardens, patios, driveways, cemeteries and in
parks and school yards.
Dave Darch, the county's director of public works and engineering,
informed the operations committee of county council that after some
intense lobbying from Ontario municipalities, exceptions were
permitted for public works departments so they can maintain their
rights-of-way and remain in compliance with the Weed Control Act.
"We can use pesticides along county roads and the like for maintenance
and public safety," he said, "although we can't use it where
pedestrians are on a regular basis."
The exception, which is detailed in the pesticides act, states the
chemicals can be used to maintain safe conditions, and the security of
and emergency access to public works, which includes highways,
railways, power works, gas works, water works and other utilities,
transit/ transportation corridors and the perimeter of nuclear
However, this isn't a blanket permission to spray anywhere.
"The exception does not apply to the use of a pesticide on a portion
of a highway to which pedestrians have access on a regular basis or
where the public is invited to stop, including picnic and rest areas,"
the act states.
The cosmetic pesticide ban is being imposed by the Ontario government
in response to the rising controversy over their use, as special
interest groups express their concern over potential health effects.
This battle has resulted in a number of communities passing laws to
ban their use, and many others being lobbied to follow suit.
The agricultural use of pesticides is supposed to be unaffected by
Bonnechere Valley Township Mayor Zig Mintha, the head of the
operations committee, said this whole issue sprung up from public
concern over pesticide use.
"They don't know the difference between the safe and the unsafe
pesticides," he said, noting the ones which have been cited as
hazardous have not been used by reputable people in years.
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer reporter.
Pesticide spraying begins to eradicate moth
The Associated Press
OJAI, Calif.—California agriculture officials have begun pesticide
spraying in the Ventura County hamlet of Meiners Oaks in an effort to
eradicate destructive gypsy moths.
A handful of protesters gathered on a street corner Monday as
pesticides were applied to trees.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture is spraying the
naturally occurring biological insecticide bacillus thuringiensis
kurstaki, or BTK, to 267 acres within a 400-meter radius of gypsy moth
Gypsy moth caterpillars feed on hundreds of kinds of plants and are
capable of defoliating trees at an alarming rate.
California's growing gypsy moth infestation has led state officials to
take emergency action to eliminate the pest.
Information from: Ventura County Star, http://venturacountystar.com
Syngenta corrects Prairie pesticide guide
Syngenta Crop Protection Canada is offering Manitoba and Saskatchewan
farmers stickers to correct the entries on Axial herbicide (page 90)
and Quilt fungicide (page 282) in the two provinces' 2009 Crop
The company warned in a release Tuesday that Axial's label does not
allow tank mixes with the broadleaf products 2,4-D, Estraprop, Express
Pack or Thumper, "due to the potential for crop injury."
Also, Syngenta said, the correct registered rate for Quilt when
applied to wheat and barley is 304 to 405 millilitres per acre.
Stickers with this information can be ordered from Syngenta at
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